tv Bloomberg West Bloomberg December 7, 2014 7:00am-8:01am EST
>> from pier 3 in san francisco, welcome to the best of "bloomberg west," where we focus on innovation, technology, and the future of business. i'm emily chang. every weekend we'll bring you the "best of west," the top interviews with the power players in global technology and media that are reshaping our world. first to our lead. all that talk about cyber monday losing its importance appears to be nothing more than a bunch of hot air. the numbers are in and show that cyber monday is stronger than ever. it topped the $2 billion mark, growing 17% year over year. not all the numbers were as rosey.
i.b.m. said sales did indeed grow 8%, but that growth rate was actually lower than last year's. when you think of cyber monday, twitter is not the thing that usually comes to mind. but twitter has been working hard to change that perception, allowing users to directly buy items from their news feed. for more on twitter's growing e-commerce role, i spoke with chris riedy, twitter's director of retail and asked him how busy it has been. >> we have a lot of really great things happening on the platform in the last couple of days. we are really excited to see brands engage with consumers, not only pushing offers, which is important, but also thinking about how they can add value to shoppers, so they can provide behind-the-scenes information, maybe tips and tricks, how to's, all to generate a lot of interest and stay relevant in the season. >> twitter is obviously not the first thing you think of when you think, i want to get a deal
on black friday. how do you change consumer habits? i spent a lot of time on twitter during the week and i spent very little time on twitter this past week and a lot of time unfortunately on amazon. >> when you think about twitter, it is about discovery. that is what we are enabling for you. we're helping you find what you're interested in in the moment. that can be around interests that you have today, but it can also be around shopping. we think about holiday season, shopping is obviously really important. we are really looking to drive the discovery for consumers. >> now you guys are testing out a buy button. what kind of progress have you seen so far? how are consumers behaving? >> buy button is really exciting, but it is also the early days for us. we want to think about shortening the distance from the consumer talking about a product to ultimately being able to purchase it. this being said, this is something we are testing today, but we want to take the time to get it right. we do not want to rush to get it out to market. we want to make sure it works with our audience first. >> early days, anything you have learned about how consumers are using it? >> we're seeing consumers are interested. really great data. we have a great campaign running today actually from a.m.c.
theaters. they are promoting the ability to purchase a $30 gift card through twitter and upon the purchase, they provide a voucher for a free popcorn at the theater. if you think about the holidays, you might want to get away and go see a film, this is a great opportunity to do that. >> is that an exclusive deal to twitter? >> it is an exclusive deal. >> is that the idea, to get merchants and retailers to offer exclusive deals on twitter? >> exclusives are great. it is about finding the right opportunity to capitalize on moments of intent. with twitter, you have people asking for products and advice on what to buy. we want to shorten the distance from the ask to the actual purchase. >> what about the hashtag commerce product with amazon? how is that going? >> i can't comment specifically on that, but really interested to see how consumers are thinking about a platform from a commerce standpoint. we're seeing nice traction there. all great learnings for us. >> what can twitter offer that other companies can't? other platforms can't? >> we go back to that discovery.
we have this live public conversational platform. we are heavily accessed mobilely. when you put those together, it lends itself well to discovery. ultimately that provides an opportunity for a brand to interact with the consumer throughout the past purchase. that is really important. >> why not push -- and facebook is testing a buy button as well. why not push a buy button out sooner when you have the biggest retail days of the year over thanksgiving weekend? >> really great question. i think as a business, twitter is really focused on getting it right for consumers. so there are opportunities to push products in the market, especially ad products, but we want to make sure it is right and that it works well first. so i think we're just going to err on the side of getting it right versus getting something
out. >> in terms of the business, what is twitter's cut? if i buy something based on something i have seen on twitter, what does twitter get out of it? >> we can't speak specifically to those numbers, metrics. what i can say is if we develop this product effectively and we shorten the gap from talking to purchasing, it is going to work really well for brands, and we believe that will work really well for twitter as a business. >> chris riedy, twitter's director of retail. so what is cyber monday like at an amazon fulfillment center? our editor at large, cory johnson, traveled to tracy, california, about 60 miles from here. tracy is one of the centers that is using robots to help fill their orders. cory spoke about the robots with dave clark, amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations. >> we haveeen dog fulfillment fo20 years and improving ery year this is a funcon of improvement for our last type of building. when you think about the challenge we face, it is all about this massive selection we carry. this site we're in today has over 3.5 million units of unique selections. over 21.5 million units of total inventory. walking that selection to find products for the exact thing customer wants shipped used to take a lot of time. >> there are 21 million items here? >> there are 21 million. over 21 million. >> 21 million types of items?
>> exactly. >> it is bewildering to watch children's toys and power drills and i don't know, you name it. >> everything from toys to vitamins to toy rockets. my family and i -- i have two sons. we probably do 90% of our shopping at amazon. >> that is going to my house right now since i live closer. let me ask you a question. is the pecking method as effective with the robots? does that change the way it works? >> it fundamentally changed it. it eliminates the walk. what you're seeing now is everything we're doing is just a value-added element to the customer. it is putting the product available for sale. this stuff is available right now for same day delivery into san francisco. order it by noon and get it tonight. the same thing on the pick side. when the product is delivered to the picker, it is immediately there. they are available to go on the way out. where we were previously processing orders in an hour to an hour and a half, our fastest times are down to under 15 minutes. >> amazing. you have been at this for about
six months. i would have to imagine there is a tremendous amount of learning you are going through in terms of figuring out oh, that can actually help us -- with what? what areas are you learning the most about? >> three big pieces with the system. one is the capacity expansion. it is about getting more product, more selection available locally for customers in the same footprint. in this building, we are getting 50% more product per square foot of space than we were in our previous generation. >> this is a function of the catacombs don't have to be reachable or felt like a library? >> exactly. because the system does not need big aisles or walkways for people, you don't need the intermediate material handling systems and you get more density of storage. as you can see back there, there is very few open aisles. >> they are higher as well. your pickers are not 6'5". >> you're always welcome. >> talk about the location of this facility. it is very interesting to me that it is an hour or two from
san francisco, from san jose, from sacramento. how do you site the location? how does that change the amazon tax policy? >> we are about getting closer to customers. the first benefit is about getting more selections closer to customers. then it is about speed of processing that you get and our ability to faster process for delivery to those customers. as we scale the network, as we move from one building to many buildings, you are able to get much closer to customers. when you have five buildings like we did in 1999, you are more of a regional fulfillment player. we now have 50 buildings in the u.s. 109 globally. with that footprint, we are able to be much closer to urban locations where customers are located. >> the impact of sunday delivery -- i was shocked a few days ago i walked out of church, and a mail truck went by. i thought wait a minute. it's sunday! of course it was chock-full of amazon packages. >> it is amazing how fast customers have really adjusted and love the sunday delivery. we now have 19 sort centers across the united states supporting sunday delivery to thousands of cities.
it is a tremendous benefit of being part of our prime program and through seven-day delivery. >> is the job better or worse for the pickers working with the robots? if their productivity has to be higher, are they working so much harder or is it better because they don't have to walk 10 to 12 miles a day? >> i encourage you to talk to them. i think you'll find that the pickers and sorters enjoy working with the system because they get to do more of the direct things that customers appreciate. >> cory johnson with amazon's dave clark from an amazon fulfillment center on cyber monday. coming up, what can huge companies like g.e. and microsoft learn from startups? the man who created the lean startup movement, eric ries, is here next with some key takeaways. ♪
>> welcome back to the best of "bloomberg west." i'm emily chang. what is the secret to success for young tech companies? well, often it is their nimble startup culture. a culture that helps drive innovation and may put the company on a path to greatness. can large companies learn something here? cory johnson and spoke with eric ries, author of "the lean startup" and founder of the lean startup movement. i started by asking him if any big companies are implementing the lean startup technique. >> nobody was more skeptical than i was when i first started getting calls from companies saying we want to implement this entrepreneurial management system in our large company. i've been really surprised the last few years. i've had the chance to work with the big companies you mentioned as well as with the hot up-and-coming next gen i.p.o.s., silicon valley startups. so often the issues that we are
talking about are actually the same. because once you have a product fit and you have a successful product, you're a big company, even if you're the world's greatest entrepreneur, you have at least one other person working for you, how do we teach people to become entrepreneurs and act in an entrepreneurial way? >> what about a company like microsoft? we have been talking about them. the new c.e.o. microsoft however arguably has missed some of the technological hits of the last 10 years. how does a company like microsoft change? can they change? >> i believe they can. but it is all about -- are you willing to change the whole blueprint that the company has built to? so many of our modern companies are built around functional silos. people doing their job, not seeing the big picture. not getting close to commerce. so if you want to actually foster that kind of innovation inside the company, you have to be willing to set up internal startups and there is a lot of detail to the structure of how you do that. >> i wonder about the companies where that is part of the culture. i've been thinking about amazon. my waking hours and sleeping hours. i was at their facility in tracy, california, this week. amazon is this culture of pizza box teams. you don't want a team starting a
project that is more than one pizza, one late night pizza session away from being too big. but i wonder if -- that is part of amazon culture. they are cheap, small teams that work fast. what about when that approach is wrong, and that is part of the culture that you can't change? >> i believe culture comes from the process and accountability decisions that you make at the senior management level. the way people are compensated. the way they get promoted. that is what drives ultimately the culture. if you want to have a culture of small teams or when you have a big problem, you find a way to break it into smaller problems. you have to be willing to set that process decision from the top. i think what is really interesting is when i go to corporate america these days and meet with teams, i'll often be sitting in a room with a 25 or 30 person part-time committee. everybody is on the project 10% of their time. everyone got assigned there the day before. there is not a lot of context. there is no ownership. there is no sense this really matters to my job or my career. i'm determined to make it work.
in silicon valley, you don't get assigned to a startup one day. oh, i guess now i'm on a startup. that is not the right way to try something new. >> something you have focused on is diversity. we have seen a lot of dismal numbers coming out of the biggest companies from apple to facebook to google to microsoft. what kinds of things -- where have you seen progress when it comes to diversity other than the realization that look, we know these numbers are bad. we want them to be better. what are they doing to make them better? >> you know, i've been saying for years that diversity is the canary in the coal mine for meritocracy. you see that homogenous outcome. you have to ask yourself if this was really a meritocratic process. >> if you walk into a room with straight white dudes like me and say you did not get the best people possible. you didn't even try. >> what are the odds that it just so happens that the absolute best people all happen to look exactly like the person doing the selection? >> right. >> i mean, maybe, but the odds are extremely low. just do the math. i think companies are starting to take this seriously, but it is a slow progress. i believe the selection process we use determines who shows up. because people don't apply to a
job or a conference or anything when they don't think they are going to be selected. >> one of the things that you have advocated for is sort of a blind screening process. i spoke with the founders of y combinator about that and they have a low number of women founders, though they are very concerned about the problem. take a listen to how they've changed their process but won't go so far as to blind screen. how have you changed the interview process in subtle ways to make sure you are getting the best people and that you're not discriminating and everyone has an equal shot? >> one thing that has changed recently is that we have a female partner in every one of the interview rooms. >> why not completely blind screen everyone? >> how could you tell if they were telling the truth then? >> then i couldn't observe their interaction. >> they feel that they cannot get a good read on someone if you don't meet them. it is a fair point. >> i couldn't agree more. a lot of the selection processes are multi-staged. there is like a written application that happens before
you meet the candidates. how about review the written application blind. that's actually what we do at the lean conference. we have people submit a form and create a video. it is not entirely blind, but we make sure that everyone applying has to go through the same process. >> cory johnson and eric ries, the author of "the lean startup" and founder of the lean startup movement. >> up next, we'll be speaking with a man who has been on the front lines of civil rights issues for 50 years. the reverend jesse jackson. did he get answers in his meeting with microsoft? ♪
the workforce is predominantly male, predominantly white and asian. what can be done to increase diversity? our editor at large cory johnson and i spoke with civil rights leader, the reverend jesse jackson. he joins us from seattle where he has been meeting with leaders of amazon and microsoft including microsoft c.e.o. satya nadella. i asked him what nadella had to say. >> i think the real deal is if they will see that for those -- women and people of color represents market, money, talent, and location. it is not the cost of doing business. it is the key to growth. there is not a talent deficit, there is an opportunity deficit. while we focus a lot on stem and engineers, we can help increase that supply base. beyond that, 60% to 70% of the jobs are non-tech. lawyers and ad agencies and marketing and security forces. a whole range of workers and talent can be employed in these industries. >> reverend jackson, is it
interesting to have that conversation with a guy of indian descent? for you to have that conversation with -- does he get it more because he is also in this country a minority? >> well, actually, in microsoft, there is an interesting rainbow you have. you have an indian president, female cfo, and african-american members of the board and white attorney in terms of mr. grant. so you really have -- i think they do get it and they see that the market is like that. so is talent and creativity. and we also talked about that. also why not take a hard look at beginning to invest in s.t.e.m. development. there is a school here by a former microsoft worker. 600 children studying stem. they are very excited about it. she is teaching them in trailers. they need a school to do just that. also, if they really focus on
more talent, there is a pipeline to start the black colleges to develop a pipeline of investment and the intern role. the chairman of the board is from florida a&m, john thompson. they teach computer science and they teach engineering. with florida a&m and howard and these schools, but they must see the value in such a relationship. we are over consuming and buying the product, but underindexing in terms of relationships. >> we were just speaking with eric ries, author of "the lean startup," who is also very concerned about this issue. he says that tech executives can't blame this on a pipeline problem when the pipeline has changed over the last 15 years. but the numbers haven't. you're also meeting with amazon executives. tell us who are you meeting with and what is your message to amazon? >> we can't meet with amazon. amazon has been the most reluctant, in contrast to microsoft, which appears to be far more open.
amazon has 10 board members, all white. eight men and two women. they had an offering of $6 billion. they did not use any black financial services in it. i mean, they have a lot of shovel ready talents on the market right now. the is no reason why they cannot have a company like aero capital for a 401(k), for people like luke capital and williams capital to be part of the offerings. we have a talent surplus. the myth has been they can't find us. rainbow push has found them. we want to connect with them and when we connect, we all grow. it is not a zero-sum game. >> one of the things that is said that makes silicon valley work is not just the innovation, the ideas, and the people with those ideas that want to execute those. but the universities, the university of california at berkeley, stanford, also the peninsula. bringing students to the workforce ready to do this kind of work.
but with tuitions rising, particularly at the u.c. schools, it seems to be keeping out more people of color and more women out of those schools unable to pay for those tuitions. to what degree does that start to lessen the possibility of having tech workers of color? >> student loan debt is greater than credit card debt. that is a problem and there should be the forgiveness of student loan debt. it could be a great stimulus to end the boomerang situation. leave home but have to come back home. student loan debt can be a big deal in terms of advancing our economy. and also, we find that we cannot just limit those schools. again, john thompson comes from florida a&m. the guy who wrote up the papers for the founding of google, david drummond, is an african american. there is no talent shortage.
while they are looking for workers out of the country who work on a very insecure basis, they have people here that can learn s.t.e.m. they can learn apps and code right here right now. we bought shares of stock in these companies. we will be in this for the long haul. we'll be in your presence in the great northwest and silicon valley. >> are you saying you are against the h1b program? you think that is costing african americans and people of color jobs in silicon valley? >> they are unnecessarily recruiting workers from abroad and not using workers and training them at home. that is the real point. >> i want to ask you about your conversations with tim cook because you have been speaking with apple specifically about pay disparity issues. and what they pay their security guards, who have been speaking about it. satya nadella, a very hefty pay package, $90 million for a new c.e.o. what happened in your interactions with apple and tim cook around this issue of pay and equity? >> we hope to meet with tim cook soon.
we did meet today and yesterday with nadella. i think that is a big deal. for too long, these companies have had the pleasure of having offshore tax havens, getting tax breaks back home. bringing h1b workers in. getting government contracts. they have not been as sensitive as they must be so we can grow together. and work with security workers and truckers and advertising agencies and marketing. we are no longer in the caught in and the industrial making cost and in cars, we are in this era. we should all be a part of it. i want our government to play its role demanding that equal employment opportunity be used here as well. >> reverend jesse jackson, founder and president of the rainbow push coalition. up next, blackberry's come back. in just a year on the job, c.e.o. john chen has made drastic changes to revive the smartphone maker. will it work? my interview with john chen is next. ♪
>> you are watching the best of "bloomberg west," where we focus on technology and the future of business. i'm emily chang. now, blackberry is trading at $10 a share. apple has obliterated blackberry's market share. why would john chen sign up to be blackberry's new leader? here is part of my interview with john chen from my new show, "studio 1.0." people are telling you the blackberry is already dead. why did you take this job? >> that's a great question.
there are a bunch of reasons. i could give you a reason about it being iconic in the industry and it's a great company and has a lot of technology and i think there is a lot of potential. all of that is true, but that does not automatically answer the question why am i doing it. i started talking to the chairman of the company. i was going to formulate a strategy. i thought i was too old to run around the world and play cowboys. once i got into it, i find it's hard to just guide without just doing. we don't have a lot of time to find another team or find another person and think about the strategy. we just have to get it done. i decided to become the ceo. >> so you are not crazy. >> i'm not crazy. i think there is a lot of good potential. it's not a done done deal. i think we have made a lot of
progress in the last six months. >> do you like to feel needed, to fix things? >> that is probably the negative part of my personality. i am a little bit paranoid of not being needed. i think it's important. what i do every day, i know that it means something to people. >> history has been cruel to phone makers. nokia. motorola. palm. what makes you think you can change history? >> i'm not following the same template. we are trying to broaden ourselves beyond just the device. i don't sit there and think i can make another great phone and somehow everything will be well. >> you did vow to keep making phones. >> oh, yes, of course. this is part of our strategy of the end-to-end mobile computing for the enterprise.
>> being completely honest, have you ever had a moment where you thought what that i get myself into? >> twice. yes i have. after the first 30 days, i said to myself, i am running against time on so many things. i did not dwell on it for too long. i put a plan together and did one thing at a time. don't try to fix everything at the same time. that was once. and then i could feel when my mind is not very focused and i can feel it. right now, i am quite at ease with the things we're working on. >> my interview with blackberry ceo john chen. this interview will air on "studio 1.0," which is on thursday nights airing at 8:30 eastern. he broke the news about the hack
>> welcome back to the best of "bloomberg west." i'm emily chang. from the target breach to the infamous infrastructure worm, brian krebs has played role in exposing some the world's biggest cyber threats. he was the first person to report on the massive breach at home depot. he has learned russian, traveled to eastern europe, and adopted online aliases to talk to the hackers he communicates with. i sat down with him to discuss how he finds a breach. >> if you're going to sell something, you don't put it under a bucket. you tell the world. you tell people that you have these fresh new credit cards.
come to our store and don't go to the other guys. they will put ads out there. they will say get your balances ready to read we are about to push a new batch of fresh cars out there. whenever i see that, i wait for them to do it. i look at it and i reach out to sources in the financial industry and say, hey, small bank, i just looked through this cache they are selling it looks like they have 10,000 of your customers' cards that just went on sale. what do we do about it? you can go in and buy these cards back and tell me what you see if there are any commonalities. >> you work backwards. >> if you get the same answer from enough financial institutions, it's time to make a call to the company and say it sounds like you are having a bad day. what happened? >> i want to know more about
your methods. you are learning cyber slang. you are learning russian. you are infiltrating chat rooms. tell me about the tools that you use to track these things down. >> like i said, a lot of these communities are about helping people get business done. cyber crime has become a big business. if you want to buy an atm skimmer or start up a botnet to start spamming the planet, but you don't know how, get on some of these criminal forums and they will teach you this stuff. that's what i did in the middle of the last decade. i tried to establish a presence on all of these different criminal forums and then lurk and try to understand how this weird ecosystem works. occasionally, i reach out the people and say if i were interested in this, where would i go?
if i were looking for that, who would i talk to? who are the most trustworthy people? that's what those forums are all about, connecting people who have disparate resources and interests and put together people in a way that creates a cyber criminal enterprise. >> how do you protect yourself? >> i get on these communities and i am just lurking. i am not trying to be somebody i am not. i am just not trying to be me. >> if they knew it was you, wouldn't they stop talking? >> i normally don't register under my own name. i don't spend a lot of time reaching out to these guys and pretending to be somebody else. there is a lot you can learn and glean just from being in these communities and seeing what people are talking about. in the few cases where i have on a lark tried to register in my own name, i found that either
the account is already taken or the administrator just laughs it off. >> they are on to you. >> they are on to me, right. >> you have been a target in certain cases. people have sent unwanted things to you. you had a swat team on your doorstep. tell me about some of the situations. >> it's been -- there is a lot of stuff that people can do without a lot of effort and maybe somebody else's credit card to cause you embarrassment or inconvenience. some of the things that happened, they sent a heavily armed police force to my house by spoofing an emergency call from my home and saying that somebody invaded our home. that was interesting. if it never happens again it will be too soon. i had a guy who ran a major
cybercrime forum take up a collection to send heroin to my door and then spoof a call from my neighbors saying that krebs is a big druggie coming and going. he has drugs delivered to the house. that was an interesting story because i was on that guy's forum, and i was watching them plot this thing out. i called the cops. that was a fun story. apparently there is a thing where you can send a big bag of feces to somebody's house. i had that. some of the weirdest stuff that has happened, i prefer not to talk about. i don't want to go through it again, and i don't want to give people bad ideas. >> do you get scared? >> if you are in this business, poking the bear as it were, you
have to have tough skin, and you have to take some basic precautions to watch your six. my physical security has increased over the last couple of years. we are working on getting the privacy reset button, and that is a lot of work. >> brian krebs, cyber security journalist, researcher, and author. more than 6 billion people are expected to have smartphones why the year 2020. how will tech and phone companies deal with the massive demand for data? i speak to the ceo of ericsson next. ♪
six will have a mobile phone by then. these are some of the findings. for more, i spoke with ericsson's ceo hans vestberg. >> this is a slow development of technology. the next year will be an explosion. the prices are coming down. the technology is reaching so much further out. we believe that 93% of the earth's population will have mobile coverage by 2020. because of the technology and the scale we have in this industry, it's amazing, the numbers. >> we been talking about smartphone saturation and concerns for samsung, it sounds like smartphone makers don't have anything to worry about. >> what we are facing is it is a very natural thing. there are over 7 billion subscriptions in the world.
we need to understand that many countries and places on earth don't have the 3g and 4g coverage. the handsets are coming down in price. an average reduction of $10 for a smartphone is 100 million people that can afford it. >> what kind of technological challenges does this mean for ericsson? >> i think when you're coming into the more rural areas, a lot of things we need to think about are things to get power out there. the other thing is the same technology we deploy in the united states in sweden we deploy in africa, india as well. then we get the cost down and we get scale. scale is the game. that's how we can have over 90% over six years old have a mobile phone. >> you have an effort to bring connectivity to more remote parts of the world.
how much do you think internet.org will be driving these numbers realistically? >> the whole scale of operators that carry the majority of traffic, like ericsson, will do the majority of it. when you come to the more cumbersome areas, we need more innovative models. it is very important. we come with technology and they come with new innovation and apps. companies like samsung will make devices that come down in price. this organization will be very important. >> what is ericsson doing a from an infrastructure perspective? a network perspective to make the internet easier to get on dumber phones? >> one of the things we are doing in silicon valley is we need apps that work on 3g or 4g. that is what app developers are doing is enormously important.
we are upgrading all around the world. that is happening as we speak. we are spending $5 billion u.s. on research and development every year to have the latest technology. that is what we are doing. >> what is the biggest challenge you have run into with internet.org specifically? >> nothing specific. it's just coming out things from different angles. the industry, the media industry, we are coming together. all of us need to work together to unleash all efficiencies. >> how did you become involved with internet.org? did mark zuckerberg call you, ericsson personally? >> we had established relationships.
>> mark zuckerberg called you personally? >> he reached out to our organization and we thought it was a good idea. there are few companies that are in that many companies. of course we have our role to play in this. >> hans vestberg, ericsson ceo. you can check out my interview with mark zuckerberg at bloomberg.com. is twitter looking to buy a selfie app backed by justin bieber? we will talk about that next. ♪ >> welcome back to the best of
targeting shots, the selfie app backed by singer justin bieber. it is still unclear if any talks of taken place. i spoke with the possibility with early shots investor jim scheinman, who runs the v.c. firm maven ventures. >> shots is a community of young adults age 13 through 19. the average age is 16. we have 3 million on the product now. it is all word-of-mouth. it started off with some justin bieber fans and celebrity fans. it's grown much beyond that. they are spending -- most of them are spending 50% of their day coming back to the site. 20 minutes every day. this is an app that becoming part of their daily life. >> are all of these people real? when it comes to bieber, there
are a lot of people with bieber in their username writing back to me. >> these are all real people. i should back up and explain why maven ventures was excited about investing in this company. it will explain what is going on with shots. the founders, john and sam shahidi, two brothers, they are great product developers. they have built these companies and mobile games for many years. they understand the demographic very well. they wanted to bring it to the world platform that is safe for the young demographic, where there is no bullying and still fun and cool and a way for them to express them cells. justin bieber and others who invest in shots share the same vision. we believe that the world is a place where young adults come express themselves in a place with your not going to be bullied. people don't realize that.
i have a 13-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son who are spending time of these platforms. even places like instagram, 40% of young adults today are being bullied on a daily basis on platforms like that. we think it's time for a place to exist where people are not being bullied. >> was anthony noto talking about shots? you are an investor. >> we were one of the first investors. what i would tell the owners is regardless of whether there is any truth to that or not, this is not the time to sell. right now, the company is doing great. we have 3 million users. it's growing very quickly. 50% are spending 20 minutes every day on the product. it's growing. there is no reason to sell right now. if the founders decide that
whatever they want to sell, we would back them, but i think they want to build this for many years to come. >> does shots have a meeting with twitter in december? >> i can't confirm or deny that. i would like to point out that there is some speculation of other companies that twitter has been looking at. i am proud to say that two of the top three companies we are investing in. >> tell me how justin bieber got involved. >> john shahidi, the founder of the app is well networked. he understands this young demographic. he met justin and they shared the vision of what he wanted to do. justin immediately got it. public figures like justin bieber are putting themselves out there. for better or worse, some of their job they are going to get in the media, and some of the press they get is not going to be nice. they wanted to create a place where people could express
themselves and a safe way without being bullied. once john and same explained that with shots, justin became a cash investor. >> how involved is justin? >> he just recently did a post with his mother. he is using it like the 3 million users as part of his daily life. >> to give advice to the founders, you would say don't sell now. on the face of it, this looks like just another photo sharing app. what makes shots stand out over time? there are so my options out there. >> when we looked at investing with them early on, we asked our startups was -- are you passionate about building a vision worth fighting for? everyone of our companies in our
portfolio has a vision worth fighting for. they are solving a big problem for a large consumer marketplace. there is a problem is to be solved can't be solved elsewhere. we said there needs to be a large marketplace for tens of millions of young adults and teens and tweens to express themselves in a safe place. nowhere else can they do that. that's why shots needs to exist. this is not just another selfie photo sharing app. the product itself is unique. it is a built in its own way. some of the new features we are launching are going to continue to make it further neat. >> why isn't instagram safe? >> you can comment, for example. when you comment on instagram, a lot of the comments are kids saying that you look ugly or stupid. there is no commenting on shots. everything you do is positive. there only positive feelings in the community. that is unique within shots. >> jim scheinman of maven ventures, an early shots
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